Randy Meyer Racing to Debut Nitro Injected Funny Car at Funny Car Chaos Event

After winning the last three NHRA Lucas Oil Series Top Alcohol Dragster World Championships with his daughters Megan and Rachel, A/Fuel tuner and team owner Randy Meyer is looking for a new challenge. He found one, or rather built one, as he plans to unveil a new A/Fuel Funny Car this weekend at the Funny Car Chaos Classic at the Texas Motorplex. Julie Nataas, the lead driver for Randy Meyer Racing this season, is scheduled to drive the new car.

“We’re doing this for multiple reasons,” Meyer said. “He wanted a new challenge and we are looking to diversify our operation and help drivers who eventually want to move up to feed Funny Car but can’t get experience anywhere else. The Funny Car Chaos deal is becoming more popular here in the Midwest, so it’s an opportunity for us to race close to home, have some fun and take on a new challenge.”

Nataas has spent the last three seasons racing full-time in NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster behind the wheel of one of Meyer’s nitro-injected A/Fuel dragsters. Like Meyer, he is looking forward to a new experience.

“I can’t even describe how excited I am,” Nataas said. “Not just for me to drive the car, but for the whole team. I’ve wanted to drive a Funny Car for a long time, so when Randy asked me if he wanted to drive, I couldn’t say no. It’s going to be a new and exciting project for all of us.”

“I may not want to drive a car again after this, who knows,” Meyer laughed. “She has been top of the list to drive this car for a while. The time has come to bring it to light.

The car is a 2016 Murf McKinney-built chassis previously campaigned by Brian Hough on NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car. It sustained minor damage in a crash, but repairs were made by chassis builder Jonnie Lindberg before Meyer purchased it for the project. A/Fuel. The car then underwent a series of changes at the Meyer shop to prepare it for a nitro injected engine.

“Over the last eight months, I’ve been building a lot of parts and modifying a lot of things on the car,” Meyer said. “The car was never built for nitro or A/Fuel, so we had to do some major modifications to get it where I wanted it to be. Once we get it up and running, we’ll probably tweak it further to get it to work the way it should, but we have to start somewhere. We’re starting with what we have, and we’ll go from there.”

The car isn’t 100 percent cosmetically ready, as it hasn’t been painted yet, but Meyer wanted to take advantage of a break in the team’s hectic NHRA Lucas Oil Series schedule to get the car up and running. While there are currently no NHRA guidelines for a Class A/Fuel fun car, the NHRA Department of Technology is monitoring the debut of Meyer’s entry with great interest.

“Over the past two seasons, we’ve had a lot of internal discussions and discussions with current teams about the possibility of adding nitro-injected cars to our current class structure,” said Ned Walliser, NHRA vice president of competition. “Until now, those discussions have been mostly hypothetical in nature. Now we actually have an example of a modern nitro-injected Funny Car, which should help provide us with a lot of additional data and help us as we continue to have these important discussions.”

“We’ll probably only run it three times this year because of our NHRA schedule,” Meyer said. “Racing the dragsters and chasing the world championship with Julie remains our priority for this year. Next year we look to run the Funny Car a lot more.”

For the past two decades, Meyer has leased his cars to other drivers, giving them the opportunity to compete at a high level and compete for wins and championships. Some drivers use the A/Fuel dragster as a springboard to Top Fuel. Meyer’s ultimate goal for the A/Fuel Funny Car is to provide the same opportunity for drivers looking to upgrade to a 330 mph nitro Funny Car.

“There are a lot of crossovers between an A/Fuel dragster and a Top Fuel dragster, but comparing an A/Fuel dragster to a Fuel Funny Car is like comparing apples and oranges,” Meyer said. “We’re thinking this will be a good alternative for people who want to explore and see if they like a Funny Car. It’s a good springboard.”

Nataas, a two-time NHRA North Central Champion, is one of those drivers hoping to get to grips with the closed drop body and shorter wheelbase of a Funny Car to prepare for a potential switch to a nitro Funny Car every faster time.

“This can definitely be a springboard for Nitro Funny Car,” said Nataas. “The last two years I’ve said I can see myself in a nitro Funny Car, but I really don’t know what it’s like to drive one compared to a dragster or anything else I’ve ever driven. We’re about to find out.

The Funny Car chassis will also give Meyer the option to swap out the Funny Car body for an altered body to run altered fuel events or match racing. It’s all part of Meyer’s plan to diversify his options.

“This will allow us to race closer to home and still play around with the A/Fuel stuff,” Meyer said. “We’re going to have the option of doing the Funny Car, the dragsters or the Altered. That’s my plan. We’ll have them sitting there and if anyone wants to rent one, we’ll manage it. We really want to go out and have a little fun with this new car.”

Meyer has been secretly working on this project for months, and it’s finally ready to hit the track.

“I just want to thank the handful of people who donated parts and helped me out on this deal,” Meyer said. “They want to see what he can do and what the potential is. There are a lot of people watching to see what happens.”